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Mining, Pollution and Agricultural Productivity: Evidence from Ghana

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  • Fernando Aragon

    ()
    (Simon Fraser University)

  • Juan Pablo Rud

    ()
    (Royal Holloway University of London)

Abstract

Most modern mines in the developing world are located in rural areas, where agriculture is the main source of livelihood. This creates the potential of negative spillovers to farmers through competition for key inputs (such as land) and environmental pollution. To explore this issue, we examine the case of gold mining in Ghana. Through the estimation of an agricultural production function using household level data, we find that mining has reduced agricultural productivity by almost 40%. This result is driven by polluting mines, not by input availability. Because of its crowding out effects on agriculture, we find that the mining activity is associated with an increase in poverty, child malnutrition and respiratory diseases. A simple cost-benefit analysis shows that the fiscal contribution of mining would not have been enough to compensate affected populations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University in its series Discussion Papers with number dp12-08.

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Length: 44
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sfu:sfudps:dp12-08

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Postal: Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada
Phone: (778)782-3508
Fax: (778)782-5944
Web page: http://www.sfu.ca/economics.html
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Postal: Working Paper Coordinator, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada
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Related research

Keywords: Natural resources; Mining; Pollution;

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References

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  1. Francesco Caselli & Guy Michaels, 2009. "Do Oil Windfalls Improve Living Standards? Evidence from Brazil," NBER Working Papers 15550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Vicente, Pedro C., 2010. "Does oil corrupt? Evidence from a natural experiment in West Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 28-38, May.
  3. Rema Hanna & Paulina Oliva, 2011. "The Effect of Pollution on Labor Supply: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Mexico City," NBER Working Papers 17302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Fernanda Brollo & Tommaso Nannicini & Roberto Perotti & Guido Tabellini, 2010. "The Political Resource Curse," NBER Working Papers 15705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Greenstone, Michael & Hanna, Rema, 2011. "Environmental Regulations, Air and Water Pollution, and Infant Mortality in India," Working Paper Series rwp11-034, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  6. Seema Jayachandran, 2009. "Air Quality and Early-Life Mortality: Evidence from Indonesia’s Wildfires," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(4).
  7. Frederick van der Ploeg, 2011. "Natural Resources: Curse or Blessing?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 366-420, June.
  8. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2006. "Institutions and the Resource Curse," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 1-20, 01.
  9. Fernando M. Arag?n & Juan Pablo Rud, 2013. "Natural Resources and Local Communities: Evidence from a Peruvian Gold Mine," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 1-25, May.
  10. Joshua Graff Zivin & Matthew Neidell, 2012. "The Impact of Pollution on Worker Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3652-73, December.
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